For people who have hearing loss, family dinners and gatherings can be a challenge. Not only do several people often talk at the same time in these situations, but they also elevate their voices to be heard over one another.
Combine that with the clattering of dishes, scraping of chairs, and background music, and you have a situation in which it is difficult for individuals with hearing loss to enjoy themselves. There are a few ways you can make these noisy gatherings more enjoyable for you and your family if you have a hard time hearing out of one or both ears or if you use a hearing aid.
Talk to Your Loved Ones First
It is important that you talk about your hearing loss with your family before a big meal, so they can make adjustments to help you deal with the background noise. Your family can then do the things that will make communicating simpler like facing you when they talk. It will make the meal a lot more enjoyable for everyone even if the conversation is a bit uncomfortable.
Sit in The Center of The Table
In some cases, it’s tradition to sit at a particular place at the table, but the best place to sit if you want to have an easier time hearing conversation isn’t at the head or near the end of the table, it’s near the middle. You will not have as hard of a time hearing conversations from the middle of the table. Make sure you speak up and let your family know if there is a place at the table that’s best for you.
Request a Lower Music Volume
Background noise can be a major issue for individuals with hearing loss because it is hard for their ears to filter out this noise and concentrate on speech. If you are at a family gathering, ask that the music is turned off or set at a very low volume. If you’re in a restaurant, sit as far away from speakers as possible and away from noisy places, like close to the kitchen, where you can hear the clanging of pots and pans.
Look at New Technologies
If you don’t already have them, think about investing in directional microphones or an FM system. Voices you want to hear are amplified and you can isolate background noise by facing away from it with these technologies.
Don’t Try to Bluff Your Way Through
The only way your loved ones will know if you’re struggling through a meal is if you let them know. Hearing loss should never stop you from enjoying the fun of the holidays with your loved ones. Your family members will be happy to assist you with any adjustments you might need to make during your meal.